Those with chronic pain do all they can to take care of their pain, from seeing doctors to trying different medications. However, complementary medicine is also considered. Acupuncture is the ancient practice that has been easing pain for many over the years. Here are some tips to help you learn more about acupuncture.
Since acupuncture is a form of alternative treatment, the cost is not likely to be covered by traditional insurance. Sometimes it only takes one treatment to get symptomatic relief, so the cost is not prohibitive. If several treatments are needed the cost of treatment may become too expensive to continue.
Do not make the mistake of believing that all of your pain is guaranteed to be gone after one acupuncture treatment. It takes some people quite a few treatment before they see any type of results. This is why it is important for you to stay patient during the process.
Avoid over-eating right before your acupuncture appointment. Although you should not go on an empty stomach, as this can lead to feeling dizzy, you can’t be too full either. Call and ask for guidance with the receptionist if you’re not sure, but don’t take any chances by indulging in a big meal a few hours prior to going.
When determining which acupuncturist to use, make sure you find out whether the person is NCCAOM certified. This certification indicates that the doctor took an exam and finished a comprehensive program. While it is not a guarantee that the acupuncturist will be the right fit for you, it is a good start.
If you are skeptical about acupuncture, don’t move forward with it until you’ve alleviated whatever is holding you back. Acupuncture is not an area that everyone is immediately comfortable with. It involves needles for one, and the mindset is quite different than Westerners are used to. Learn all that you can prior, and make a conscious decision once you’re confident in it.
You should drink plenty of water before you attend your scheduled acupuncture session. It has been shown that people who are well hydrated respond better to treatments. While you should not consume a lot of food before a session, it is a great idea for you to drink a good amount of water.
Make sure that the acupuncturist you choose is licensed through the health department of your state. Some acupuncturists can get a license after taking just a quick class. It is a good idea to select someone with a degree in this field and lots of experience.
Get a consultation before getting any sort of treatment done. You should talk to the practitioner about what kind of pain you have. This will make you feel comfortable before your procedure. Tell them how the pain is altering your daily activities. Be thorough so that your practitioner can plan your treatment properly.
Don’t expect to 100% understand what an acupuncturist is talking about, but do ask for explanations when you are lost. Acupuncture is an Eastern style holistic approach to medicine. It’s quite different from what Westerners are used to, and the lingo can be a lot to take in. If you’re lost, stop and ask questions.
Some people should not have acupuncture done. For example, pregnant women should avoid it because it can cause premature labor. Those with pacemakers should not have it done because electrical pulses may be applied to the needles, which may stop a pacemaker from functioning properly. Speak with your doctor before having acupuncture done to be sure it is safe for you.
As you would with many other services, schedule a consultation with any prospective acupuncturists. These generally last 10-15 minutes, but they can give you an idea of whether or not they are right for you. Ask them any questions that you have, talk about their experience and education, express any concerns, and pay attention to how they make you feel in their office. If you ever feel uncomfortable, try someone else.
Receiving acupuncture treatments regularly will eventually help you become more aware of your body. You might feel uncomfortable and even experience pains that you never noticed before. This is a negative side effect but it is also a sign that your acupuncture treatment is working. Explore acupuncture further to correct the new problems you are noticing.
If you are interested in acupuncture but cannot afford it, ask your practitioner if they will accept you as a patient on a sliding scale. Many practitioners offer this service, as they realize the health benefits offered by this therapy. Typically, you will pay only what you can afford or agree to a bulk payment for several treatments.
Oftentimes after your first acupuncture visit, you will feel some immediate pain relief. This is fairly common. Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years and these practitioners know what they are doing. Although acupuncture is not recognized as a medical treatment, for some people it can actually cure their chronic pain.
Acupuncture can often lead to a highly emotional response. A variety of emotions are not unusual during acupuncture. Your acupuncturist will not be surprised if you laugh or cry during your treatment. In addition, if you get emotional, the acupuncturist will realize that the treatment is being effective.
You should never go to an acupuncture appointment on an empty stomach. Have a small meal or a healthy snack two hours before your appointment. If you often feel lightheaded during or after your treatment, eat more before your appointment and bring some snacks with you so you can eat as soon as the treatment is over.
Require that you see any acupuncture needles unwrapped in front of you prior to usage. This is a big safety concern as these needles must be used one time only by the practitioners. Otherwise it can be of serious medical concern. If there’s an open package in front of you that you didn’t see open, request a new set of needles.
If you have read this article, you now have a deeper understanding of what acupuncture is, how it can help you, and what you should be aware of. Make sure you talk to your doctor before getting started, of course. However, acupuncture can be a complementary part of any pain management program.